Squiz Today / 14 February 2024

Squiz Today – 14 February 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

SYD
22 / 30
MEL
15 / 20
BNE
22 / 31
ADL
14 / 24
PER
18 / 37
HBA
11 / 20
DRW
26 / 31
CBR
17 / 27

Squiz Sayings

“CGI sludge”

Said one harsh critic of the new Wicked movie trailer that dropped during the Super Bowl… The film’s not out until 27 November, so you’ll have to wait a while to decide for yourself – let’s just hope Elphaba doesn’t release those flying monkeys in the meantime…

The opposite of Closing the Gap

The Squiz

PM Anthony Albanese has released the latest Closing the Gap report to coincide with the 16th anniversary of the government’s formal apology to Australia’s Stolen Generations. It’s notable for a couple of reasons – it’s the first report card released since last year’s failed Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum vote, and it’s put a spotlight on the failure to hit several of the targets. As an emotional PM Albanese yesterday said it should “should give us pause” that “only 11 out of 19 socio-economic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are improving”.

What are the problem areas? 

Things are getting worse for Indigenous Australians in 4 target areas – children’s early development, rates of children in out of home care, adult imprisonment, and suicide. Albanese also described the life expectancy gap as “inexcusable”. Last year, the Bureau of Statistics said Indigenous life expectancy was 71.9yo for males and 75.6yo for females (and lower in the Northern Territory and remote areas). For non-Indigenous Aussies, it’s 80.6yo for males and 83.8yo for females… The report’s poor findings come a week after the Productivity Commission’s review of the Closing the Gap strategy pointed the finger at consecutive governments for a lack of clear policy/action. It described the progress on implementing reforms as “weak, and reflects tweaks to, or actions overlayed onto, business-as-usual approaches”.

So what happens now?Albanese announced a National Commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children, who will be responsible for protecting and promoting their “rights, interests and wellbeing”. A new $707 million jobs program will also replace the Community Development Program. Its goal is to create 3,000 jobs in remote Australia over the next 3 years. Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said it’s “about putting communities in the driver’s seat to create local jobs and businesses”. For the Coalition’s part, Peter Dutton described the jobs program as an “admirable aim” but questioned whether it’s achievable. And one other thing to note – supporters of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament said had it been established, it was meant to address these problems

The Squiz

PM Anthony Albanese has released the latest Closing the Gap report to coincide with the 16th anniversary of the government’s formal apology to Australia’s Stolen Generations. It’s notable for a couple of reasons – it’s the first report card released since last year’s failed Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum vote, and it’s put a spotlight on the failure to hit several of the targets. As an emotional PM Albanese yesterday said it should “should give us pause” that “only 11 out of 19 socio-economic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are improving”.

What are the problem areas? 

Things are getting worse for Indigenous Australians in 4 target areas – children’s early development, rates of children in out of home care, adult imprisonment, and suicide. Albanese also described the life expectancy gap as “inexcusable”. Last year, the Bureau of Statistics said Indigenous life expectancy was 71.9yo for males and 75.6yo for females (and lower in the Northern Territory and remote areas). For non-Indigenous Aussies, it’s 80.6yo for males and 83.8yo for females… The report’s poor findings come a week after the Productivity Commission’s review of the Closing the Gap strategy pointed the finger at consecutive governments for a lack of clear policy/action. It described the progress on implementing reforms as “weak, and reflects tweaks to, or actions overlayed onto, business-as-usual approaches”.

So what happens now?

Albanese announced a National Commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children, who will be responsible for protecting and promoting their “rights, interests and wellbeing”. A new $707 million jobs program will also replace the Community Development Program. Its goal is to create 3,000 jobs in remote Australia over the next 3 years. Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said it’s “about putting communities in the driver’s seat to create local jobs and businesses”. For the Coalition’s part, Peter Dutton described the jobs program as an “admirable aim” but questioned whether it’s achievable. And one other thing to note – supporters of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament said had it been established, it was meant to address these problems

AusPol

Squiz the Rest

A huge election to know about

Over 200 million Indonesians will head to the polls today to choose a new president and vice president – as well as executive and legislative representatives – in the world’s biggest single-day election. Joko Widodo can’t run again but still has skin in the game as his son, 36yo Gibran Rakabuming Raka, is running for veep with 72yo former military general Prabowo Subianto going in favourite for president. Observers say Subianto’s history of alleged human rights abuses poses a threat to the world’s 3rd largest democracy. With the majority of voters under 40yo, there are concerns young people have bought into Subianto’s image overhaul as a “cuddly grandpa”… Despite the massive vote, the results are expected later this week with 6 million election officials in place to oversee the ballot.

World News

Lisa Wilkinson v Ten

The TV presenter says she was “shocked and embarrassed” over being dropped from The Project in the aftermath of her Logies speech that delayed Bruce Lehrmann’s criminal trial. Wilkinson told the Federal Court yesterday she “begged” Ten to make clear they’d signed off on her speech and was devastated her reputation was “being trashed in the media”. The star is back giving evidence as the judge in Lehrmann’s defamation case determines whether the network should stump up for her $700,000 legal bill. The trial before Justice Michael Lee finished just before Christmas, and he says his judgement will be ready next month. And adding to the expanding list of court time spent on Lehrmann and the claims made by his former colleague Brittany Higgins, the ACT Supreme Court is now hearing a case brought by former prosecutor Shane Drumgold against the man who investigated him, Walter Sofronoff.

Australian News

A bad weather day in Victoria

Residents of western Victoria yesterday sweated through the worst bushfire conditions since the black summer of 2019-20, with multiple catastrophic and extreme fire warnings issued across the state – particularly in the Wimmera and Grampians regions. Temperatures reached more than 40C in parts of the state, with Country Fire Authority chief Jason Heffernan saying the high temps and strong winds created the “perfect recipe for a bad fire day”. Two emergency-level fires kicked off northwest and southwest of Stawell, forcing residents to evacuate or take shelter. The power was also out for about 500,000 customers after an outage at Victoria’s largest coal station. The temperature in Melbourne reached up to 37C before severe thunderstorms rolled in yesterday afternoon, bringing damaging winds, heavy rain and large hail. This video shows just how wild things became. A brolly wouldn’t save you there…

Environment & Science

A cruel summer of scammers

While Aussie Swifties are getting ready to lose their minds ahead of her first concert in Melbourne on the weekend – spare a thought for the hundreds of fans who may have fallen victim to a ticket scam… After it was overwhelmed with reports, Ticketek is now setting up pop-up centres in Melbourne and Sydney to help people who’ve been duped online. Some customers say their Ticketek accounts have been hacked – and their legit tickets resold by scammers. The ticket company says it’s “working around the clock” to resolve the issues before the shows kick off. And if you missed out in the first wave, we hope you got lucky in yesterday’s Swiftie lottery when a bunch of restricted-view seats went on sale. But if you didn’t, a Plan B in Melbourne might be Swift-themed ice skating, or in Sydney, you can always test yourself against other super fans at a TSwift trivia night

Australian News Entertainment

A serious sugar rush

If you’ve been hunting for a gift for that special someone today – assuming you haven’t got the ick – and thought that the price of chocolates seems higher than usual, you’re not wrong… New data shows Aussies are paying over 10% more for the sweet treats than we did last Valentine’s Day due to an international cocoa shortage. Prices for the raw product skyrocketed by 144% over the previous 12 months, and there’s no end in sight as it “continually reaches new records”, leaving the global industry – and us – in a “big panic”. A combination of factors are to blame – farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire say climate change and deforestation have caused several years of bad harvests. They are calling for big chocolate companies to pursue more sustainable practices. If that’s enough to put you off the sweet stuff, don’t worry because this year, it’s all about self-care on V-Day anyway…

Economy Environment & Science

Apropos of Nothing

Her iconic TV show ended years ago, but Oprah still has sway over the world’s most famous people… Turns out she was the key to 40 “legendary” women posing at the same time for British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful’s final cover. No wonder she got centre stage…

It’s not often that we’re excited by the sight of an old man in Speedos, but we can only applaud 100yo Taghi Askari, who still competes in professional diving championships. He’s been winning medals since the first Asian Games in 1951. Never stop chasing your dreams…

Who says only dogs can guide the blind… A penguin called Squid has taken a fellow African penguin (imaginatively called Penguin…) under its wing as a ‘guide bird’ as their buddy has debilitating cataracts. You’ve gotta have friends…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Professor Rod Sims and Professor Ross Garnaut address the National Press Club on Australian climate and energy policy

Company results – Comm Bank

Indonesian General Election

Ash Wednesday (Lent begins)

Valentine’s Day

International Book Giving Day 

Library Lovers Day 

Birthdays for Michael Bloomberg (1942), Simon Pegg (1970), Cadel Evans (1977), and Freddie Highmore (1992)

Anniversary of:

  • the death of Captain James Cook (1779)
  • the release of the original Dracula film starring Bela Lugosi (1931)
  • the patenting of the first microchip (called “micro on a chip”) by Texas Instruments (1978)
  • the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which prompted widespread protests against gun violence in the US (2018)
Squiz the Day

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